Monday, January 25, 2010

These Family Vacations Are For The Dogs, Literally

Last week we headed up to Flagstaff to have the much anticipated and drama producing "the dogs of the family need to meet" vacation in the snow. Mind you, a few members of Big D's family have yet to meet Bug and this would be Bug's first introduction to snow. But these facts were far down on the list in importance to the dogs of Big D's family romping in the snow together. As we pulled onto the highway, I felt that familiar little scratch in the back of my throat that undoubtedly signals a cold is coming on. And of course a cold was coming on. I was going on a vacation. I always get sick on vacations. I always get sick on family vacations. I always get sick on vacations with Big D's family. Of course. My body revolts against me. Or against Big D's family. So right when I need my strength the most to keep a happy face and zen out amidst the madness (oh the stories I so wish I could tell) I am usually drowning in phlegm or coughing up a lung or puking up my guts. Lovely. It is just lovely. So of course, I got a full blown cold the whole time we where in Flagstaff. My head was a freight train being attacked by a sledgehammer and yet I went sledding, visited the ruins, made dinner, cleaned the kitchen, and of course watched out for Bug. I wouldn't have wanted to disrupt the doggie lovefest with a severe cold or minor case of piggy flu.

And it reminded me of another Big D family trip. This was a few years before the birth of the Bug. We were living in Los Angeles and we were heading down to San Diego for a reunion with Big D's family to watch the Browns kick the Chargers asses. Hahaha. Though neither Big D nor any of his siblings ever lived in Cleveland, his father is from Ohio and so they all are devout Browns fans in honor of their father. I was raised in New England and am therefore, though not much of a football fan, a fan of the Patriots nonetheless. But the point is, I was going to this family reunion to show allegiance to my husband and his family. And of course, on the way down to San Diego I feel that scratch in the back of my throat. Does my body revolt against the very idea of these family reunions? Maybe. I think my body just revolts against me.

So I did my best to suck it up. I drugged myself up good and smiled through it. And then the day of the game came. It was so hot. Ridiculously hot. The hot that doesn't happen in San Diego. Blistering sun. No sea breeze. Just bright sun which feels like daggers in my eyes so I keep the dark shades on and keep my eyes closed beneath them. As we approach the stadium Big D notes that the Echo is out of gas. He notes it but does he stop for a refill. Oh hell no! Big D has got to get to that stadium and get his football on. The point is we have NO GAS IN THE CAR as we putter into the stadium. And the traffic is a long line of turtles waddling into the parking lot. And because we have no gas we HAVE NO AIR CONDITIONING. And the Echo is the size of a peanut with three big guys plus me squished into it. And I have jacked myself up on cold medicine and diet coke to try to make it through the day from hell and save my marriage. And I am not kidding when I say that. Big D takes his family's likes and dislikes very seriously. When we were first dating, I fell asleep while watching a movie called something like A Man in The Wilderness, a movie revered in Big D's family, and it almost cost us the relationship. I think Big D still has hurt feelings over that. They take these things VERY seriously.

So anyway, the car is hot and stuffy and puttering along and you guessed it, I start puking all over the car. But this doesn't detract from their enthusiasm. In fact, they are so pumped up for the game I am not sure if anyone notices I am BARFING ON THE FLOOR of the car. GOOD TIMES!! Once in the stadium a harsh reality is upon us. The sun is beating down on the Browns side of the stadium and I am quickly adding sun stroke to my current bout of consumption. I excuse myself and head to the bathroom to make friends with the toilet. Ah, puking in public bathrooms, now that is classy (and has happened more than I care to admit). As I am puking, I realize that I really need to find a place to lie down and get out of the sun. So I go wandering the inner bowels of the stadium and stumble upon the clinic. I tell them that I am sick and need to lay down. The nurses look at me like, "Sure bitch, you are just drunk and can't hold your liqueur". But they let me lay down for 10 minutes. They actually time it and kick me off the cot at ten minutes and tell me that I either have to leave or go home. Go home? Not an option. Because if I pull Big D and say I was kicked out of the game for being sick, I would be headed to divorce court. Wow, the kindness of these medical professionals really astounds me. I am feeling the love. So I wander back to my seat where someone in the family starts taking photos of us all having a good time. And it seems everyone is completely oblivious to the fact that I am on death's door at this point. I am actually made to smile for the camera and I somehow manage to do it without vomiting--now that photo would have been a keeper!

So I am sitting there trying to meditate, praying I make it through this. And I begin noticing that Browns fans are particularly gross. For example, the people in front of me have two wild child brats. These kids have giant mats of nappiness for hair and the dad has some sort of skin disease that he keeps itching on and it starts bleeding. They are eating massive amounts of food and I am not kidding but the kids apparently don't know how to chew because as they are piling nachos and hotdogs into their mouths it just come tumbling out in chunks all over themselves and the seats and the floor and the hair of the people in front of them. And I realize I need to get out of there fast. So I spend most of the game sitting on the concrete in the hallway trying not to die. As the game nears an end (the Browns losing of course) I wander around a little and find that there is a whole picnic area on the first floor with chairs and tables and benches and shade and I could have sat there the whole time. And I am really pissed off at that point because the evil medical people could have told me that this place existed if they had a shred of humanity.

And then the game finally ends. Big D's family is pissed off and hating on the Chargers and making up reasons why the Browns lost yet another game. We make our way back to the car but we can't leave yet because there is no gas in the car so we have to wait until the parking lot empties until we can leave. This takes over an hour, maybe two. At this point, I no longer think I am dying, I want to die. Take me lord, take me now! We finally get in the car. Hallelujah! And now we have to find a place to get gas which for some reason takes an unholy amount of time. To top it of we follow Big D's Brother back to the condo and his Bro gets lost. It takes hours to get home. When we finally get home, I have to take the dogs out to pee because the boys need to finish watching football on TV before they can be bothered with the bathroom needs of the dogs. Someone orders Subway. We eat. I go to bed. Yeah, family vacations rule.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Few Reasons Why It is Not A Good Idea to Have Dogs While Trying to Teach a Toddler to be Human

Because it is hard to explain to you that it is OK for mommy to throw all your leftover eggs to the dogs but it is NOT OK to throw ALL your breakfast to the dogs. Cause this makes mommy want to fall on the dog-licked kitchen floor, curl into a fetal position, and bawl for the remainder of the morning.

Because it is really cute when you pretend to help mommy clean up chihuahua pee off the carpet(writing this, I realize it doesn't sound cute at all but you'll have to trust that it is heart-gushingly cute) but it is not a good idea to pee on the carpet yourself and then clean it up. This, in my opinion, is heart-gushingly cute too but I am trying to teach you to be a human being not a neurotic chihuahua and I think I might be losing the battle.

Because I need to teach you to eat off human dishes not out of dog bowls which is much more appealing to you. Retrieving you from your head in a dog dish is not my finest parenting moment.

Because while I find it hilarious that you like to say hi poop!!! to dog poop when you see it on the ground, others might find this disturbing and it could make you socially awkward.

Because while I secretly agree with you that it is pathetically funny when the chihuahua bears his teeth and snaps, it is not nice to torment the poor old curmudgeon just for a laugh.

Because a bit of healthy fear of large animals might be a good idea and since you enjoy getting licked from head to toe by the largest dog known to mankind, it is difficult to explain to you that the pit bull on the corner isn't so friendly which often leads to you falling to the dirty sidewalk screaming to the sky and kicking my shins because I am the meanest mommy in the world because I don't allow the dog to chew off your fingers through the fence.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

My Brain Is Weird

Wow, I think some lame and random shit during the course of a day:

1. Is cloudy or clear apple juice better?

2. Why does the dog smell like she rolled in garbage?

3. How long have I had this toenail polish on?

4. Do Mormons ever skip a day on the Mormon underwear?

5. How many pairs of Mormon underwear do they have anyway?

6. If Bug is sleeping at 5:00 PM does that mean I am in for it tonight?

7. Should I dye my hair brown?

8. Should I wake Bug up now?

9. Why does the Chihuahua's breathe smell like something crawled into his intestine and died?

10. How many days has it been since I took a shower?

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Monolith

After we sold the condo we moved (escaped) to the cottage in Culver City. The owner called it a cottage but it was, in reality, more like a converted shed set back behind a row of 1920ish Spanish Bungalows. I called it my Innisfree at the time because the stress of the condo had sent me into a near mental collapse and I was looking for a hideaway or, more precisely, a hideout. There were some seriously insane people in the condo building--I'm talking horror movie scary--and I actually feared for my life. Or at the very least, my Chihuahua's life. And this place was so hidden I felt like even the Nazis couldn't find me. Of course, I eventually came to realize that all this seclusion turned in on me and made me even more fearful. If someone broke in to kill me, would anyone hear me scream? I know, I am terribly paranoid and the victim of an overactive imagination but it really wasn't a place you wanted to be alone in at night.

Being that it was some sort of converted shed that had undergone two or three expansions in its long life, it was full of charm but low on practical features such as closets. This set me out on a search for something which could contain all the sundry things one normally puts neatly away in closets or cabinets. We found this large armoire on craigslist. The seller lived in Silverlake and was moving to New York and needed to unload some of his eclectic possessions. This one being an antique Indian apothecary armoire. Of course, as my husband and our friend Jason, who we paid off to help move the damn thing from Silverlake to Culver City (too far for those of you not familiar with Los Angeles) learned, the most likely reason he was selling it was because it weighs more than than the entire naval fleet of the US Military. The sucker is heavy. On that very first move into the cottage, we christened it with the name Monolith ala Space Odyssey 2001 and it is truly deserving of the title. Who would ever want to move with that damn thing? Oh, I guess us since we've moved it three times.

It is now with me in the desert and has become something other than the monolith. It has become the black hole of clutter, the dark hole of crap. I'm not a hoarder, I love getting rid of my things, even things I like. I've given away furniture to friends, clothing to co-workers, and food to any charity that asks. Your interested in that book? Oh, you can have it. What comes around goes around. Out with the old in with the new. But, if I were to fall into a parallel universe and find myself in a Twilight Zone-like episode of Hoarders, and they were to ask, standing amidst piles of old receipts, unread books and magazines stacked high like a twisted Edwardian maze, if I could pinpoint exactly where it all went wrong, what exactly birthed this horrible reality, I would succinctly and without a beat, point to my nemesis, the Monolith, as the source of the insanity.

It is the one place in my home that I can't seem to get to. I can't seem to tackle. It is a junk drawer on steroids. It is the place I shove things when visitors are coming over. It's the place I put things that I want out of sight but can't throw out. I have everything from board games to bills shoved in that thing. I hate its utter lack of organization and yet I need it. I need it because it keeps the crap out of the rest of the living space. I know there will come a day when I will get rid of it or at least its contents and that will be a day to raise a glass and toast my freedom from the Monolith.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I am Moving to Australia

So today has been when of those days. I'd say I woke up on the wrong side of the bed if it weren't for the fact that you can't wake up when you never actually go to sleep. Nola wanted to nurse all night long and when she wasn't nursing she was sleeping like a possessed person-- sitting up and then falling down, rambling in her sleep about Buddha and the dogs, flipping over me, and then ultimately crying for bobo (her word for boob). That is probably why waking up to an anonymous person telling me my blog sucked since 2007 up until yesterday's post made me want to lay down and die. I am being seriously over-sensitive cause this person merely said that my blog was getting better and that isn't a bad thing. But that is what two years of no sleep will do to a person. In fact, I am impressed that there is even a shred of coherency in this blog. Also, I jumped to the conclusion that anonymous person was Big D, which I guess it isn't and I sent him an e-mail begging him to back of my little blog and leave it alone. Sorry, babe, I am just having a really bad day.

Monday, January 4, 2010

This Place is Getting Too Small Already (And I Might Be Fat)

This house is a mess. Not just a little messy. It needs a top to bottom cleaning. I call this kind of cleaning a furniture moving experience. And this house is in desperate need of a furniture moving experience. The problem is I don't have the will to begin. Nor the time to finish. Mess and clutter give me anxiety. I (metaphorically) stand in the middle of the family room and just wring my hands. It doesn't help that the family room is the only bit of living space in this little house. I might lose it. Or just sit in the middle of this mess and eat leftover quiche and watch some TV.

Also, I weighed less six months after giving birth than I do now. To make matters even worse, I weighed less six weeks after giving birth than I do now. This is not a good situation and I really need to do something about it. But again, I am lacking motivation.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Way My Luck Runs

I was meaning to sit down and write a post about how much 2009 sucked. Because in so many ways it did. It sucked harder than just about any year in my piling up years. But I kept thinking about Bug and how I have spent the whole year with her. Every night. Every day. I have never been a lucky person. I am not saying that to be negative, it is just the truth. Things don't just happen for me. I'm not a contest winner. I don't ever open the mailbox and find cash. OK, every now and then I find and old 20 dollar bill in a purse I haven't used in a while and when that happens I do think I LUCKED OUT. I'm all, "Hey, 20 bucks, let's go out and get us some Starbucks." But seriously, is finding old money really luck? Methinks it is more like housekeeping than luck. But the point is, seeing Bug turn into a talking (did I tell you she knows at least 100 words?), running, funny, boisterous, silly, persistent, hugable, almost jumping, loving, adorable, little person has been my biggest stroke of luck to date. So F U 2009, you didn't get me down after all. And now you are gone and done for and I am still standing so it looks like I won.